23 Aug 2005
La Traviata and Mazeppa at Salzburg
Raphaela Papadakis seems to like ‘playing with fire’. After her acclaimed performance as the put-upon maid, Anna, in Independent Opera’s production of Šimon Voseček’s Beidermann and the Arsonists at Sadler’s Wells last year, she is currently rehearsing for the premiere this week of And London Burned, a new opera by Matt Rogers which has been commissioned by Temple Music Foundation to commemorate the 350th anniversary of The Great Fire of London.
Edward Greenfield [The Guardian, 23 August 2005]
After the disappointment of the new Mozart opera productions at this year's Salzburg festival, Willi Decker's staging of Verdi's La Traviata must be counted a triumph. Admittedly, it is based on a gimmick, with no scenery in Wolfgang Gussmann's designs, just a plain semicircular white wall across the expanse of the Grosses Festspielhaus stage, and props limited to a few settees and a large clock. Also, the chorus, women as well as men, are dressed throughout in severe black lounge suits, acting in a block.